ACC Probing New AFL Club, Six NRL Clubs Implicated

Performance enhancing drugs in football is quickly becoming the biggest story in Australian sports history.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

As the days go by the news involving the Australian Crime Commission’s investigation into performance enhancing drugs reveals a darker than expected forecast into the shady side of the football world.

Not yet a week old, the allegations that the Essendon Bombers used performance enhancing drugs during the 2012 season has escalated into one of the biggest stories in Australian sporting history. Now, new information is bringing to light how serious this matter is, and how deep it has spread across all codes of football.

AFL deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan revealed on Sunday that multiple players from the Bombers and at least one other player from another club were being investigated for using illegal substances. The news comes on the back the ACC’s investigative report naming six NRL clubs as having used similar substances.

Due to Australian law, which states there cannot be any adverse impact on a club or individual, neither players nor clubs can be named.

Essendon’s involvement in the scandal is obviously deep and other clubs may have been involved in similar large scale breaches.

"The AFL is aware of potential multiple breaches at that club," McLachlan told the assembled media.

"In terms of identified instances of possible performance-enhancing drug use in the AFL … the AFL is aware of vulnerabilities to potential performance enhancing drug use across the competition," said McLachlan in a prepared statement.

"In terms of identified instances of possible performance-enhancing drug use in the AFL … the AFL is aware of only two specific cases where WADA-prohibited performance enhancing drugs may have been used in the AFL."
"The AFL is aware of one case involving the possibility of WADA-prohibited performance enhancing drug use by one player at one club.

"The AFL is aware that a second case involves the possibility of WADA-prohibited performance-enhancing use by multiple players at another club."

McLachlan went on to say that the second case may have seen players administered with drugs without their knowledge or consent.

ACC chief executive John Lawler spoke to The Sunday Telegraph about educating clubs in order to prevent the scandal happening again.

"This is about making sure that they are alert to the risks and vulnerabilities, and that they are actively doing something about it," he said.

"What's happened has happened. That needs to be investigated. But, more importantly, we should be trying to prevent this occurring."

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